Buffalo Translational Consortium News

Roswell Park Researchers Launch Clinical Trial to Test Innovative Cancer Vaccine

Posted on 01/26/12 at 02:29 pm

The Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute yesterday announced that it will conduct a Phase I clinical trial to test a cancer vaccine based on dendritic cells. Developed by a team of basic, translational and clinical scientists, the vaccine involves harvesting the patient’s own dendritic cells, binding a specialized form of the protein NY-ESO-1 to the cells, and then giving the cells back to the patient as a vaccine. Three Roswell Park scientists contributed key elements that were critical for the trial to come to fruition:

•    Kunle Odunsi MD PhD, Director of the Center for Immunotherapy is the study’s Principal Investigator.

•    Protul Shrikant PhD of the Department of Immunology made the novel observation that rapamycin, which will be administered with the vaccine, has the capacity to produce immune cells that have memory attributes.

•    Yeong “Christopher” Choi PhD, directs the Therapeutic Cell Production Facility, a custom-made barrier isolator, which will manufacture each tailor-made vaccine for subjects enrolled in the trial.

Each element of the work that led to this groundbreaking trial has been accomplished and the clinical trial will be performed entirely at Roswell Park.  These elements include:

•    The basic science observations underlying the new technology
•    The Therapeutic Cell Production Facility which will manufacture the vaccine
•    The upcoming clinical trial.

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